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Roanoke City Public Schools’ new transportation provider, Durham School Services, is struggling to get students to and from school on time.

School buses ran late again in Roanoke on Thursday, continuing a rocky first week for the school division and its new transportation operator.

Roanoke City Public Schools warned of more delays Thursday afternoon in a recorded call to parents and guardians, and a message posted to its website.

Twelve buses were likely to be delayed, the school division said. The buses listed were transporting students from: Crystal Spring, Round Hill, Monterey, Westside, Fallon Park, Fairview and Virginia Heights elementary schools; Lucy Addison and Woodrow Wilson middle schools; Patrick Henry and William Fleming high schools; and the Roanoke Academy for Math and Science.

Durham School Services replaced Mountain Valley Transportation as the school system’s transportation contractor this school year. The Roanoke School Board agreed to hire Durham at the recommendation of school administrators in the spring.

Buses ran late Tuesday, the first day of school, and again Wednesday in the mornings and afternoons. Some buses dropped students off more than an hour and a half late on Tuesday.

At a news conference Wednesday, Durham Vice President John Ziegler said the company is working to improve its routes and communication. One of the reasons for delays is that the company only has about 90 percent of its bus driver staff hired, Ziegler said. The company is still working to improve its routes, he said.

Roanoke said in its message to parents and guardians it has continued to see improvements with transportation.

Durham “is committed to resolving these issues by early next week,” the school division said.

Parents and guardians can contact Durham School Services at (540) 970-3000 with questions or concerns. If Durham can’t be reached, the school board office will take calls at (540) 853-2382.

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